“Never place a period where God has placed a comma.”
That phrase, coined by Gracie Allen, serves as the byline to the StillSpeaking identity campaign of the United Church of Christ. It a memorable line, effectively communicating our core identity as a people who believe God IS still speaking, that there IS yet light and truth to break forth from God’s holy Word, that God IS not finished with any of us yet. We are a people on the way, with much to learn and much to do, a people continually being re-directed and re-formed by a God who is still at work among us, opening our minds and hearts to the wind of the Spirit that blows in ways we can neither control or predict.
“Never place a period where God has placed a comma.” But that is not to say that God ONLY uses commas …
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, when God looked at all God had made, when God said, “It is good” … what punctuation would you imagine God might put at the end of that sentence? A comma? “It is good, but we’ll have to wait to see if it stays that way, it may not be as good as it seems,”
Or does God put an exclamation point? “It is good!” All that God has made is good! All of creation bears the imprint of God’s own Spirit. All men and women bear the likeness of God’s own person. It is good!
And when God speaks to us in the words of the gospel: “In Christ, all are made alive” … what punctuation might God put at the end of that sentence? A comma? “In Christ, all are made alive, … with the following limitations and conditions? A question mark? In Christ, all are made alive, maybe?
Or a period? “In Christ, all are made alive.” The gospel is good news because it tells the story of what God has done for us in Christ, what God HAS DONE, PERIOD. The grace of God comes to us as a gift, a completed gift. God’s period is what allows our lives to have commas … and one day, to be brought to completion with an exclamation point!